I've always been fascinated by Henry the 8th and the period after his death. The enmity between the church of England and the Catholics has been the ..Show More »subject of much writing and I've read some. If you are ignorant, this might not be the book for you. If, as I am, you're a history buff, go for it. While reading, I learned quite a bit about this period since much of the book is based on fact, all but the main character. It's a wonderful story, if a bit confusing with all the Lords, Dutchesses etc. If you read it, I would use some reference material (I confess I used Wikipedia) to keep the folks straight. Plots and counter plots abound and make for a really enjoyable narrative.
This was a fun, fast-paced story, as expected; however..Show More », there were a few things with it that didn't work quite as well for me as the first book.
The biggest problem I had with this book was not that Brendan found himself succumbing to Sybilla's seductive ways but that he spent most of the book not remembering Kate---not thinking at all about the woman he's supposedly in love with and wants above all else to marry and spend the rest of his life with. The confrontation between Brendan and Kate when they do finally see each other again did not have the emotional impact or resonance it would have if Kate hadn't been forgotten/not mentioned for three-quarters of the book. It's an "out of sight, out of mind" type of scenario, which gives no weight to Brendan's "betrayal" of her with Sybilla. Yes, I understand that men process emotions differently and can compartmentalize their thoughts and emotions; but it didn't ring true that he wouldn't think about Kate at all once he was separated from her.
Another issue I have is the amount of time that's passed between Book 1 and Book 2. When Scarcliff is telling Brendan about how he and Nan scrimped and saved their money to buy the tavern, this seems as if it would be something that would have taken years and years to accomplish, not just a few months. King Edward VI died July 6, 1553 (an event covered in Book 1). Jane Grey "reigned" as queen from July 10 through July 19, 1553 (Book 1) and was then rightfully deposed by Queen Mary I (still in Book 1). Jane Grey was then imprisoned in the Tower. In Book 2 (this book), Jane and the Dudleys, including her husband Guildford, are still imprisoned but, before the end of the book, they are executed, which happened on February 12, 1554. So, somehow, in seven months, Scarcliff and Nan saved enough money to buy a tavern by working as a mercenary/man for hire and a prostitute? I find that really hard to believe.
I'm also very upset by Peregrine's demise. I kept hoping that he'd pop up again and that we'd find out that the poison only made him seem dead but didn't actually kill him. I miss him. :-(
Those few issues aside, I did enjoy the book and look forward to the next installment!